Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2018 kicked off with an invigorating keynote about the future of retail and e-commerce in the outdoor industry. It showed a bright future; one that’s filled with curious minds, critical thinkers, and inspiring creators.
At the Winter Market, we saw several brands that were leading that mission by creating products that in turn are creating impactful cultural moments. Here are some of our favorite things showcased at Outdoor Retailer; products that showcased their brand’s originality, inspiration and creativity.
GoLite ReGreen Windshell
The ReGreen Windshell, which won the Innovation Award at Winter Market, was created from recycled and repurposed green bottles. The jacket is printed using a paper-printing process and waterless dyes. It is also coated in a Organotex Eco-DWR, a fluorocarbon-free, biodegradable, water-repellent technology.
The jacket was inspired after GoLite partnered with a recycling plant in Taiwan. Officials at the plant told GoLite that green plastic bottles aren’t able to be recycled. Because the bottles are green, they can’t be dyed and manufacturers aren’t interested. In their product design, GoLite embraced the bottles’ color, leading to a more eco-friendly product. Each ReGreen Windshell is made from 20 plastic bottles and weighs only 1.6 ounces, which is amazing for this type of product!
Personally, I love the color of this jacket, along with the overall feel of it. I was a little jealous of the team working the booth who were sporting the jacket in the rather chilly convention center.
The ReGreen Windshell will debut in Spring 2019 along with several other pieces in a performance-based lineup, which is just in time for some trail runs in the foothills around Boulder.
Vivobarefoot Made from Plants Lineup
Another standout at the show was Vivobarefoot, who won the Best in Show award at Outdoor Retailer. At the summer show, Vivobarefoot displayed a larger product lineup. This time around, they only focused on their shoes made from plant-based materials, which is truly innovative!
When you look at modern shoe manufacturing, over 20 billion pairs are made each year. A majority of those manufacturing materials produce large amounts of carbon dioxide which contributes to climate change The current lineup of Vivobarefoot’s bio shoes are 40-50% plants. For every five pairs of bio shoes, one gallon of gasoline in CO2 emissions is saved.
What also separates Vivobarefoot from other modern shoe makers is that their shoes are minimalist: zero-drop (e.g. 0mm drop from heel to toe) and foot-shaped so your feet can move naturally like feet. I’m a huge believer in the minimalist movement. Our feet were made to move freely and to feel. Vivobarefoot’s design helps us get back to our evolutionary roots and help us feel the world and be more connected to the Earth.
The other thing that I love about Vivobarefoot is that they also carry kids shoes that have the same form and function as the rest of the product line. If you ever watch a toddler walk or run barefoot, the way they move is the way we should all be moving (albiet, with a little more coordination). Their stride is touching the ground with the mid- to forefoot. No heel strikes. No elongated stride.
Their line of bio shoes are going to be amazing when they hit the market. Their Primus Trail Bio’s build will be perfect for the Rocky Mountain foothills is Spring as I’m running through snow melt and mud. I am definitely looking forward to giving these a try.
Sunday Afternoon Hats
When I moved to Boulder from the midwest, I realized how important it was to have a hat anytime you’re outdoors. There’s a certain degree of protection sunscreen can provide, but a hat, more than anything else, keeps the sun off your face. But with the right hat, you can also look really cool.
There was a point last Spring where I was hiking up Mount Sanitas and I passed someone wearing a trucker hat with an amazing painting of a mountain printed on it. I couldn’t get it out of my head, until I saw Sunday Afternoon Hats at Outdoor Retailer in July. I picked up a couple hats and they easily became part of my rotation of headwear during my weekly runs.
It was great seeing them again at the Winter Market and was really happy we had a chance to talk to them about their company as they celebrated their 25th year of business. We were also able to get a peek at their full lineup of trucker hats and there are some sweet designs in the market.
They are also getting ready to launch a new [redacted] that has some awesome features for runners: [redacted], [redacted] and some really amazing [redacted]. You’ll just have to wait till Spring 2019 to find out.
You can never have too many hats for a sunny day, even though my wife might disagree.
One of my favorite people to have met at Outdoor Retailer was Dominique Aris, founder and design director of G.Y.S.T. Sporting Goods. We were able to bond over the cold Minnesota winters, but he also took time out of his day to show us some his products.
Once or twice a week, I do a 10-11 mile commute into Boulder for work. Usually I’m doing it with a laptop bag strapped to my back with a change of work clothes and running clothes, lunch, and a few other necessities crammed into it. Whenever I’m transitioning from commuter clothes to work clothes or into running clothes for a lunchtime run, I’m slightly irritated by that dance we do when we’re in a bathroom trying to change while also trying to avoid putting our bare feet on the dirty ground.
Dominique set out to fix that by creating a functional bag system that makes changing clothes before and after exercising easier. The design allows you to fold out a changing mat to stand on; whether that’s in your office’s bathroom, on the beach removing a wetsuit, or changing out of your snow gear.
He also had a functional diaper bag that would have made traveling with a baby so much easier.
Knog – Front Light
I do a lot of night running. One of the biggest challenge when you’re running on the street is being seen. During Outdoor Retailer, I had a chance to play around with these little, cool functional lights from Knog. They’re small, but they clip to your shirt or running vest and provide a sense of “Hey, I’m here! Look out!”
They’re rechargeable and output around 40 lumens. It’s not enough to light a trail, but it’s enough for when you’re running before nightfall or in an area where there’s just enough light to see where you’re going.
I’m excited to take these outside for running, but they’re also going to be super handy for camping.
There was a lot more we saw and you’ll have to head over to our YouTube page to see some more in-depth conversations with these brands. Keep an eye out on our blog for more updates, as well.